Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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Book sculpture mystery baffles Rankin

By Kirsty Topping


The cinema sculpture was left at the Filmhouse’s box office

SCOTLAND’S top crime writer has become embroiled in a mystery which would tax even his most famous creation.

Rebus author Ian Rankin appears to be the link between several mysterious, intricate paper sculptures which have been left in several Scottish locations, with no hint as to the artist behind them.

The writer has said he is baffled by the origin of the artworks, despite all three having a connection to him.

The most recent sculptures were left at the Filmhouse Cinema and the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, with the Scottish Poetry Library receiving one earlier this year.

Staff at the Filmhouse were stunned to find a miniature cinema cut from the pages of several books had been left in their offices last week.

Ian Rankin is depicted indulging in a Deuchars

Seated in the audience is a model of Ian Rankin enjoying a bottle of Deuchars beer.

The National Library of Scotland was left a model of a gramophone and coffin, carved from a copy of the last Rebus book, Exit Music.

Ian said he was as confused as everyone else:

“It seems to be someone who knows about my books – Exit Music has a scene at the Poetry Library – and maybe also my personal habits (drinking Deuchars; often to be found at the Filmhouse), but otherwise I’m in the dark.

“From the photos it looks amazing – intricate and obviously the work of many hours. All very strange and wonderful. “

All of the models arrived with hand-written gift tags, addressed to each organisations’ Twitter name.

The Filmhouse model features four rows of seats fashioned from leather book spines while a group of cowboys and Indians explode from the cinema screen. The accompanying note read:

“For @filmhouse – a gift – In support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas’& All things *magic*. “

Jenny Leask, the cinema’s programme and marketing coordinater, said:

“It got left at the box office counter, and no one knows who left it.

Another sculpture was left on a display case at the National Library of Scotland

“When I tweeted pictures of it Ian Rankin came baack and said that he though a similar one had been left at the Poetry Library. “

She now hopes to display the sculpture in a case in the foyer so everyone can enjoy it.

“I almost don’t want to find out who’s done it because they obviously don’t want to be found out,’ she added.

“It was such a lovely thing to get. “

Bryan Christie of the National Library of Scotland said they had received their model last Tuesday.

“‘It was on top of a display case outside the reading room, someone just left it there.

“He or she has taken a hardback of Ian Rankin’s Exit Music and cut the pages up and used that to make it.

“It’s obviously not something that somebody’s knocked off in ten minutes, they’ve spent a bit of time and thought on this and it’s very intricate. “


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